Kingston’s Cross of Sacrifice has had a make-over. Restoration work on this memorial – where Kingstonians collect for the Civic Service of Remembrance every November 11 – is now complete and cost an estimated $40,000.
More than $12,000 for this effort was raised by the Princess of Wales’ Own Regiment Foundation from 85 individual donors and 27 organizations, funding is also coming from the City’s Cultural Services budget for artifact restoration, and a grant from Veterans Affairs Canada for more than $20,000.
“The City applauds the direct involvement and support of the PWOR and the wider community in achieving this goal,” says City Curator Paul Robertson.
A rededication ceremony for the restored Cross of Sacrifice, in Macdonald Park near Murney Tower, will take place on September 23, 2014.
The memorial was showing wear and tear from the weather and vandals: mortar between the stones had deteriorated, the granite stones around the base had shifted out of place, the stones were stained from exposure to the elements and pollutants, and the sword was discoloured and had a bend in it from vandals attempting to pry it off.
Erected in 1925, the Cross of Sacrifice was originally funded and commissioned by the Kingston Chapter of Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire (IODE). When the local chapter of IODE closed in the 1950s, the Princess of Wales’ Own Regiment became stewards of the monument – which provides a strong connection to the nature of military loss for, as Capt. Marc Gallant, PWOR Regimental Adjutant describes it, “the only agency in town at the pointy end of the spear.” The Cross of Sacrifice is now part of the City of Kingston’s civic collection of artifacts, art and public memorials, making the stewardship of the monument a collaborative effort.
Originally erected in memory of the Kingstonians who gave their lives in the First World War, the cenotaph now serves as a symbol of contribution and sacrifice for all of Kingston’s fallen men and women. The Cross of Sacrifice also represents the volunteerism and generosity of the IODE. This spirit of community service continues with the contributions now raised by the Princess of Wales’ Own Regiment Foundation to collaborate with the City of Kingston and Veterans Affairs Canada in restoring this monument.
The Cross of Sacrifice is made from white granite with a bronze sword mounted on one side. The Kingston cenotaph follows a standard pattern designed by Sir Reginald Theodore Blomfield for Crosses of Sacrifice found in Commonwealth war cemeteries worldwide, including Cataraqui Cemetery.
Photo source: PWOR Foundation website